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  • 08-Aug-2018 3:52 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    Do you ever reflect on your efforts and accomplishments as a BSA Certified Angling Instructor? If not, please do so now.  


    Like you, I have many talents.  I am gifted as an insightful mind reader.  To prove my point, I think you secretely wish for more hours in the day and more hands to do meaningful work as a CAI.  Am I correct?  


    Still not yet convinced that I am a mind reader?  I think you also wish for others to help you in;

    • building awareness in others of the benefits of BSA Fishing Programs in Scout Recruitment and Retention efforts
    • providing even more opportunities for your Scouts to experience a #FIRSTCATCH
    • procuring and maintaining age appropriate / skills based fishing equipment
    • developing and maintaining angler access points on shorelines
    • managing the always growing aquatic vegitation 
    • assessing, evaluating, and properly managing your local fishery
    • providing your Scouts more oportunities to experience their First Catch and make memories.

    Was I correct?

    Still not yet convinced that I am a mind reader?  I think you also wish for help in achieving your dreams.  Perhaps it may be time to stop wishing, and start doing?  


    I encourage you to take that first step, explore the roles and responsibilities of a CAI Course Director.  Accordingly, I would like to invite you to attend a CAI Course Director Conference in 2018.


    These conferences are facilitated by members of the BSA National Fishing Task Force, and are designed to develop existing Certified Angling Instructors, like you, into confident CAI Course Directors.


    The conference will enhance your understanding of the Mission and Vision of Outdoor Programs.  You will be provided a CAI course manual that guides your step by step instructions, in creating a CAI course for your District / Council / Area. 

    The conference will include; in depth discussion on;

    • course design
    • advertising and promotion
    • staff and participant recruitment
    • staff development 
    • financial considerations
    • facility considerations 
    • best practices on content and delivery in both the classroom and the field

    Below is a listing of scheduled 2018 CAI Course Director Conferences.


    Western Region: September 16-22, 2018 Philmont Training Center; Cimmarron New Mexico  For more information  https://bcai.wildapricot.org/event-2658564


    Central Region: November 2-4, 2018 - Camp Drake, Prarie Land Council; Fairmont Illinois  For more information https://bcai.wildapricot.org/event-2899182


    Southern Region: February 9-12, 2019 - Sea Base, For more information https://bcai.wildapricot.org/event-3028031


    NorthEast Region: TBA - For more information - Contact Region Chairman - Jim Byrd


    Please consider serving as a CAI Course Director in 2019 and experience the joy of teaching Scouters to be BSA Certified Angling Instructors, increase your reach and influence to count for better Scouting!  #DARETODO!  #DELIVERTHEPROMISE! #GETURFISHON!


    Michael Brand - Communications


  • 30-Jul-2018 8:27 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    From the Desk of Ben Jelsema 


    Ben’s Tight Lines Message - Don’t Do It Alone


    You are a CAI with the responsibility to teach our Scouts how to fish. Don’t do it alone!  You need the help of other CAIs to lighten your load and to make an even bigger impact.  Get others in your area to become CAIs to help you.  


    Does your council have a Fishing Committee?  Why not?  Sell the benefits of Fishing in Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation.  Make Fishing a Gateway for Girls by offering fishing adventures and offer female Scouters the chance to become CAIs.  We have trained over 1,000 CAIs and will have over 25 CAI courses this year.  


    Please recruit your fellow Scouters to become CAIs.  Check our course schedule at bsafishing.org/CAI and get them signed up for a course near you.


    An even better alternative would be for you to arrange a course.  If you need us to run it call your Region Chairman.  Even better, if you want to run a course in your council, take a CAI Course Directors Seminar and then run your own course.  


    You will need your council to help promote the CAI course, so you need to explain the benefits to the council: 1) adding quality programs, 2) improving the camp’s fishery, 3) improving camp attendance, and 4) seeing the smiles on Scout’s faces. 


    If the course attendance is over 10 we have a progressive free fishing gear offer to help the camp enhance their fishing supplies.  The more that take the course the higher the reward (from $400 worth for 10 attendees to $1,500 worth for over 25 attendees). In addition, the council will have a cadre of CAIs to bring new fishing events and to support its existing fishing programs.  


    We know from a Boys’ Life survey that Fishing is the 4th most desired outdoor activity for Scouts (following Camping, Swimming and Biking).  Is your council aware of that?  They need to build on every Scout’s desire for fishing.  


    I am very proud of the progress you and your fellow CAIs have made in providing our Cubs, Scouts and Venturers a lifelong activity of fishing, conservation and the love of nature. 


    FISH ON!

    Ben Jelsema

    National BSA Outdoor Programs Committee

    Chairman, BSA National Fishing Subcommittee


  • 30-Jul-2018 7:45 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    Ben Jelsema and Bill Pepito encouraged me to share this message.  


    Many of you may not know that I was able to do a live radio interview this past January at the National Professional Anglers Association Annual Meeting in early January.  As a result of that broadcast, I was recently  asked to be interviewed on the Cutting Edge Outdoors.  http://ceoguys.com/


    They broadcast out of Hales Corners (a suburb of Milwaukee) Wisconsin but reach all of southeastern Wisconsin, northern Illinois and points nortth.  Audience around 10-12k!


    Here is the link to the podcast to check out The Big Fish!  

    http://www.1057fmthefan.com/media/audio-channel/ceo-7-am-everything-outdoors-all-show-long-20


    I encourage you to find ways to spread the word of BSA Fishing Programs, be it in your unit, District, Council, Area or Region.  We have a great story to tell.  We need the message to be shared.


    I thank you for your service to Scouting, during the Spring and Summer programs.  Many memories were made, and the opportunity for continued impact looks more promising then ever.  Please encourage Scouters to get Trained as Certified Angling Instructors,   Encourage Scouts to earn the Complete Angler Recognition Award, and lets get those Cub Scouts on the water, both the girls and the boys!


    FISH ON!

    Michael Brand - Communications



  • 27-Jul-2018 9:00 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)
    Below is an article found in the American Flyfisher, the quarterly journal of the American Museum of Flyfishing in Vermont.  It hails the BSA as the “Keeper of the Flame” of Flyfishing.


    Interesting reading and shows how the BSA has help boys learn to fish and love it from the beginning. 


    http://www.amff.org/keepers-flame-boy-scouts-america/



  • 18-Jul-2018 12:24 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    ​Here is a quick video of the fun Cub Scout Leaders have learning!.

    https://vimeo.com/280284423 


    Enjoy!

  • 25-Jun-2018 9:12 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)
    Wanted to let you all see this great event Fishing  Program planned for the Central Region - Area 2.


    https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/06/22/detroit-fishing-day-a-model-for-how-to-get-young-people-hooked-on-scouting/


    If you are located near Detroit, we would love your help. It is a great chance to meet Tom Redington.


    The team will be rigging rods and reels and making ready that Friday eve at 6-8 pm, June 29, then Saturday morning we are having all volunteers show up at 7 AM.  

    All activities at St Clair Metropark, follow signs for FLW weigh in/youth fishing derby. 


    Justin Williams is the lead for the Detroit council. 


    Mike Goldman from Boys’ Life will be in, maybe you can get him to make mention in a blog or article about how CAIs are the ultimate resource for these events. 


    Thanks for all that you do!

    Michael Brand


  • 11-Jun-2018 9:51 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    For a copy of the Summer CAI Newsletter 2018 click here.  

  • 21-May-2018 4:14 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    I would like to invite you to attend a CAI Course Director Conference in 2018.


    These conferences are facilitated by members of the BSA National Fishing Task Force, and are designed to develop existing Certified Angling Instructors, like you, into confident CAI Course Directors.


    The conference will enhance your understanding of the Mission and Vision of Outdoor Programs.  You will be provided a CAI course manual that guides your step by step instructions, in creating a CAI course for your District / Council / Area. 


    The conference will include; in depth discussion on;

    • course design
    • advertising and promotion
    • staff and participant recruitment
    • staff development 
    • financial considerations
    • facility considerations 
    • best practices on content and delivery in both the classroom and the field

    Below is a listing of scheduled 2018 CAI Course Director Conferences.


    Northeast Region: June 8-10, 2018  - Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum; Livingston Manor, NY 12758 - For more information - Contact North East Region Chairman - Jim Byrd


    Western Region: September 16-22, 2018 - Philmont Training Center; Cimmarron New Mexico  For more information - Contact Western Region Chairman - Tim Beaty


    Central Region: November 2-4, 2018 - Camp Drake, Prarie Land Council; Fairmont Illinois  For more information - Contact North East Region Chairman - Michael Brand


    Southern Region: TBA - For more information - Contact North East Region Chairman - Bill Pepito


    Please consider serving as a CAI Course Director in 2019 and experience the joy of teaching Scouters to be BSA Certified Angling Instructors, increase your reach and influence to count for better Scouting! #DARETODO!  #DELIVERTHEPROMISE! #GETURFISHON!


    Michael Brand - Communications



  • 21-May-2018 10:03 AM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    This past weekend, four BSA Certified Angling Instructor Training Courses were held around the country.  


    Central Region:

    Area 3 - Greater St. Louis Area Council

    CAI Course Director - Robert Quam

    Graduates - 12


    Area 6 - Dan Beard Council

    CAI Course Director - James Ridgeway

    Graduates- 5


    Area 7 - Three Harbors Council 

    CAI Course Director - Steve Klubertanz

    Graduates- 9


    Northeast Region:

    Area 4 - Laurel Highlands Council

    Course Director - William Milliron

    Graduates - 10 


    As a result, we graduated the 1,000th CAI!

    Congratulations again to all the prior 999 graduates of the CAI Programs, and a special thank you to Course Directors and Staff that provided the leadership and investment of time and talents and have left such a legacy!

    Job Very Well Done!  


    FISH ON!


  • 04-May-2018 12:51 PM | Michael Brand (Administrator)

    From the Chief: Angling for Success

    By Mike Surbaugh
    From the May-June 2018 issue of Scouting magazine
    From the CSEMagazine


    Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll have a lifelong hobby.


    Few activities are so fundamental to the human experience as fishing. Hailing from the hunter-gatherer days, fishing offers timeless benefits to the body and soul.Whether you’re casting knee-deep in a chilly mountain stream first thing in the morning or dropping a line off the dock in the heat of the afternoon sun, fishing is the outdoorsman’s meditation. Nothing but you, the scenery and the quiet. Fishing teaches people the art of sitting with their thoughts, an important lesson in our world of technology-enabled interruption. Beyond that, it teaches the necessity of patience and persistence while demonstrating that though good things come to those who wait, there are no guarantees in life. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying.


    The perks of fishing extend beyond the mental and moral lessons of the experience; there are actual physical health benefits of fishing, as well. Getting to a good fishing spot often requires some variety of exercise, be it hiking, rowing or paddling. Sunlight gives us vital vitamin D, and time in nature is shown to reduce stress, potentially lowering blood pressure.


    Fishing also is a fun way to use and build your Scouting knowledge. It’s a basic survival skill that requires use of knots, the ability to navigate nature while leaving no trace and, potentially, the use of first aid. If a Scout knows all that, plus the basics of the equipment and its use, he or she will be well on the way to earning the Fishing merit badge! Incidentally, it is an elective badge for earning a William T. Hornaday award, which you can learn about in this issue.


    Above all, fishing is fun. It’s a great opportunity to bond with family or friends by practicing a skill together and sharing an experience. It can also inspire your travel plans or help you better appreciate where you live. Whether you visit a beach or frequent your neighborhood pond, fishing can help you notice nature in a whole new way. Next time you’re planning an adventure, consider adding fishing to the itinerary and see how the experience treats you. You just might find yourself hanging a “Gone Fishing” sign on your door on a regular basis.


    Yours in Scouting,


    Michael Surbaugh 

    Chief Scout Executive


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Phone: 314-477-8120

E-Mail: Michael Brand

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